The Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens – What to do first?

With 14 hectares to explore, Australia’s second oldest botanic garden and ultimate collection of cool climate plants has so many things to see and do, it is easy to while away a relaxed day.

Must sees

The Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens is home to a number of unique collections, including Australia’s only Sub Antarctic plant house, the Tasmanian Native Plant Collection and Fernery, the French Explorers Garden and the Japanese Garden.

For example, the plants of the Sub Antarctic Plant House have been collected by garden staff and associated scientists on field trips to Macquarie Island. You will learn about the special qualities of the Macquarie Island cabbage, Pleurophyllum hookeri, and how it was the saviour of early explorers and sealers.

Historical structures

There is a lot more to engage your interest than simply plants, amazing as they are. Structures include the convict built, heated `Arthur Wall’, which once warmed glass houses to grow exotic fruit, including Australia’s first pineapple plants. Other buildings with interesting histories include the Gatekeepers Cottage, the Entrance Gates and the Anniversary Arch.

There is science and history to be uncovered everywhere you look at the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens, which are open 365 days a year (8:00am-5:00pm from 1 April to 30 September, 8:00am to 6:30pm 1 October to 31 March).

Validated learning

The below activities are a selection of activities validated as Children’s University learning.

  • Food Garden Activity – An exploration of how food is produced, with a focus climate, compost and plant structure. A chance to think about trying new foods and get hands-on with planting a seed. Designed for upper primary students, but can be adapted for lower grades.
  • Plant Adaptations Tour and Activity – Groups can either be lead by an RTBG guide to discover examples of plant diversity throughout the Gardens, or use a kit to explore on their own. Designed for upper Primary/Middle School.
  • General Tour – Learn about how the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens was created, it’s key collections, and the conservation work currently undertaken to protect Tasmania’s flora. Appropriate for high school students. Can be adapted to focus on specific areas of interest.